Imagine a lifeguard not knowing how to swim; having all the knowledge and training, however, when it comes time to jump in the pool, he/she can’t deliver (swim). The same could be said for all of us who do presentations and have all the knowledge and training, but can’t communicate our message clearly and effectively.

How much time do you work on the content of your presentation: Slides, material, stats and quotes? How much time do you practice it: pace, timing, humor, energy and delivering a clear and concise message?

I spoke to teachers and administrators for schools in Ohio and Michigan and during my talk I said, “It doesn’t matter what you know if you don’t present effectively.” Meaning students will check out of your lesson if you are un-enthused and non-engaging.

This was my experience in college in that most teachers were intelligent, well-intentioned but they didn’t practice their presentations prior to class. As a result, their delivery was low energy, disengaging, and there was very little student engagement. Rather, the instructors relied on PowerPoint slides as a means of communication.

During your next presentation at work or in the classroom what do you put priority on: the material, the presentation, or both? Remember, in order for us to communicate clearly and effectively to audiences we must practice our material.

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*This blog was inspired through an unplanned collaboration with Ken Lazar- Ability Professional Network

** Check out a “Back Stage” Video of Chad talking about “A Lifeguard Not Knowing How to Swim” after a presentation